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THE VARIOUS IMPLICATIONS
ARISING FROM THE PRACTICE OF TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION



AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS
OF PATHOGENIC STRUCTURES
AS AN AID IN COUNSELING



INSTITUTE FOR YOUTH AND SOCIETY
BENSHEIM

[1980]


Excerpts & Table of Contents

[Full text begins here.]

FORWARD

"...The T.M. movement only reports on positive effects of transcendental meditation, a rather different story has become known through parents and ex- meditators...."

1 TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION - INTRODUCTION TO THE TEACHING AND PRACTICE

1.1 THE FOUNDER

1.2 HISTORY
In India itself Mahesh Yogi had little success.... Around 1967 the previously little-known yogi enjoyed a brief spell of publicity through the interest and involvement of the 'Beatles'....The religious practices and content were restricted into the esoterical central core of the movement, where they continued to play an important role....In 1977, when a court in New Jersey (U.S.A.) confirmed the religious character of Transcendental Meditation and the teaching of Transcendental Meditation in its verdict and this paved the way to an end of public funds for Transcendental Meditation in that state...."

1.3 ORGANIZATION

1.4 STATISTICS

"...About 50-80% of those initiated give up T.M, for various reasons, on the other, many meditate without contact of any kind with the organization, and have no part in its many activities."

1.5 ACTIVITIES
"....Also, medicinal, psychological and sociological research ... is instigated by the 'Maharishi European Research University' (MERU), and is conducted mostly by scientists who themselves belong to the T.M. movement....Possible negative effects, are either not mentioned at all in the investigations, or are barely mentioned...."

1.6 TEACHING AND MEDITATION PRACTICES

"...Generally, the teaching and practice of Transcendental Meditation can only be understood in the context of Hinduism."

1.6.1. PUBLIC LEVEL
"...The uncountable investigations, (billed as scientific) which the T.M. movement has instigated or have been conducted by active T.M. meditators, show the determination of the movement to keep up the image of 'the scientifically proven relaxation technique with a high therapeutic success rate', and to deny the general public an insight into the completely different meaning of Transcendental Meditation for the 'insider'. "

1.6.2 ESOTERIC LEVEL
"...Above all it is the officers of the movement, those who represent and spread the practice of Transcendental Meditation who are required to accept the teaching and practice without question, and to follow Mahesh Yogi's instructions in complete obedience. The

1.6.2.1. THE INDIVIDUAL-COSMOS-SOCIETY

1.6.2.2. MEDITATE AND BE ACTIVE!
"....In practice, there is more a retreat into meditation, then a healthy balance between rest and activity. Also, Mahesh Yogi's attitude seems to have changed: he has become increasingly more, what he in fact always was; an exceptionally old-fashioned Hindu, who therefore does expect a retreat from the activities of living."

1.6.2.3 DIRECT MANIFESTATIONS

1.6.2.4. THOUGHTS AND DESIRES

1.6.2.5. THE LAWS OF NATURE AND DHARMA

1.6.2.6 THE MANTRA AND STANDARDIZATION OF THE PROCEDURE OF THE MEDITATION
"...Although it is said in the T.M. movement that the mantra is a sound without meaning, [it] also does have a traditional meaning: (for example a Hindu God)."

2 METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AND THE EXECUTION OF THE INVESTIGATION

2.1. STARTING POINT
"...Only a few were prepared to give unconditional information on their experiences before a third party. Many said repeatedly that they wanted to forget those experiences (of Transcendental Meditation), were taking their children into account, or were afraid of reprisals or retaliation on the part of the T.M. movement. Therefore we had to give a guarantee of anonymity to those involved in the questionnaires.

2.2. ATTRIBUTES OF THE GROUPS QUESTIONED
Altogether 67 people were questioned. All those questioned had a direct or indirect relationship with the T.M. movement. It was necessary from the beginning to divide or classify them into three groups: [parents, ex-meditators, and spouses].... The general impression we had of all at the beginning of the investigation was a negative experience with the practice of meditation or its consequences, and a wishing to avoid the T.M. organization and its representatives.

2.3 THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE

2.4 THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PERSONALITY PROFILE
"....As a common denominator attitude-wise were the "promises" of the T.M. movement, which have been the basis of its advertising activities for years. The special claims put forward by Transcendental Meditation made it possible for us to monitor their success by using a personality profile: T.M. proclaims, in most of its advertisements, that its scientific investigations are the "objective" foundation for an improvement of the quality of life....

2.5. ON THE QUESTION OF REPRESENTATION i.e. the validity of the report in statistical terms.

2.6 EXECUTION OF INTERVIEWS
"....Those interviewed came from all parts of Germany. The interviews were carried out between 6-12-1980 and 8-25-1980. The personnel involved in carrying out the interviews always consisted of at least one teacher, a doctor of education, or a person specially qualified to deal with socially handicapped people.

2.7 METHOD OF EVALUATION

3 BASIC EVALUATION: OVERALL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GROUPS QUESTIONED

3.1 ACCOUNTS GIVEN BY GROUPS QUESTIONED

3.1.1. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PARENT GROUP
"....It can be ascertained from this that it is the children of well situated middle-class parents, and a relatively good family situation, who have become intensively involved with the T.M. movement: this as against the group of ex-meditators."

3.1.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MARRIED PARTNERS
"....As with the parent group, all occupations lay in the middle-class to upper middle-class bracket. Only one person in this group was a tradesperson."

3.1.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEDITATORS GROUP

3.2 OVERALL CHARACTERISTICS OF ALL MEDITATORS QUESTIONED

3.2.1. SCHOOL EDUCATION OR OCCUPATION JUST BEFORE INITIATION INTO TM

3.2.2 ACCOMMODATION AND FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
"More than half of the meditators, with the exception of group 3, lived at home with their parents, the rest either lived alone, with a friend, or their husband/wife. Most of the meditators were still financially dependent on their parents at the time the y begin to practice (70% of the parent group and 41% of the ex-meditators)....

3.3. THE GENERAL SITUATION OF MEDITATORS BEFORE THEIR ENTRY INTO T.M PRACTICE

3.3.1 HOW RAISED BY PARENTS

3.3.2 THE COURSE OF PUBERTY

3.3.3. PERFORMANCE AT SCHOOL AND WORK

3.4 MOTIVES FOR BEGINNING T.M.

3.4.1. AGE AT THE TIME OF INITIATION

3.4.2. EXPECTATIONS OF T.M.
"....In the first place, with 38 people (56%), is the hope of less stress in life and the healing of a sickness or freedom from disease. (Freedom from depression, nervousness, stomach troubles, the giving up of relaxants, skin allergies are also supposed to improve). The group of ex-meditators hoped for above all "inner values" like fulfillment, development of consciousness, joy and self-realization. (altogether 32 people)"

3.4.3. REACTIONS OF PARENTS/MARRIED PARTNERS
"....It was only after negative changes which parents observed in their children, or married partners in their meditating spouse, that the initial favorable disposition of the parent/married partner became unfavorable. This shows that the claim made by th e T.M. movement that the critical stance of parents has its roots in "generation conflict" is without any foundation and obscures the actual state of affairs...."

3.5 EXCUSES: SPECIFIC DIFFERENTIATING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE THREE GROUPS QUESTIONS

3.6 SUMMARY

4 EFFECTS OF T.M. ON THE MEDITATORS

"...A drastic alteration in the field of social intercourse becomes clear to the onlooker, as well as such changes occurring in school and career performance. Also documented are changes in the mental and physical health of the meditator."

4.1. EFFECTS IN TERMS OF EXPERIENCES DURING MEDITATION

4.1.1 FIRST EXPERIENCES OF MEDITATION
Even during the initiation ceremony, during the obligatory Puja, the newcomer has his first experience of meditation, which he finds positive and very pleasant....

4.1.2 COURSES OFFERED
"....The T.M. movement offers a whole row of standardized and more expensive courses.

4.1.3 TIME GIVEN TO MEDITATION
"....This can lead to great changes in the general life of the meditator, especially when the length of meditation increases to 4, 6 or more than 8 hours daily. This appears to be the case with sidhas, T.M. teachers and governors. Of these three groups, 2 0% meditated up to 2 hours, 25% up to 4 hours, 22% up to 6 hours, and one for more than 8 hours daily.

4.1.4 THE FINANCING OF COURSES
"....Half the money was received from parents or from an inheritance. Loans or work in the T.M. movement were also available, work which would then make the person eligible to take the course.....On the average, each meditator spent 17,322 German marks [r oughly $22,700]....The "ordinary meditators" only in a rare case spent more than 1,000 - 2,000 marks [$1,300 - $2,600], whereas the "insiders" (sidhas, T. M. teachers, governors) in 56% of cases spent more than 6,000 marks [$7,900].

4.1.5 EXPERIENCES DURING COURSES

4.1.5.1 FROM A RECORDING MADE OF A COURSE PARTICIPANT
"....Every time I had difficulties (on weekend courses as well) the doctor said I was unstressing, that it was a completely normal reaction, I was getting rid of years of accumulated stress. I told him that I felt extremely ill and that in my opinion, my circulation wasn't in order. But he denied that....I always only got the answer that I was unstressing and should meditate more....I noticed how people became much paler, slower in their movements, much more introverted, and paler, many of them staggered around. In response to all of those phenomena, you are told that it is proper and normal it is unstressing. Spiritual encumbrances were coming to the surface and they were causing the suffering. So when someone comes and says, I feel really bad, they're t old, something good is happening. Sometimes during meditation I had the feeling that my hands were getting really big or my head was splitting apart, or I was somehow suspended, that I was tighter. Frightening images appeared in as far as earlier life exp eriences came to mind and seemed overpowering....

4.1.6 COMMITMENT TOWARDS T.M. MOVEMENT
"Asked why they spent so much time at Transcendental Meditation, each meditator gave personal, religious, and inter-subjective reasons for doing the practice, all of which, however, were based on and sprang from T.M. theory and practice....

4.1.7. NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES OF MEDITATION
".... The mainly positive experiences in the earlier stages (pictures, feelings of happiness) are replaced in time - according to reports of the ex-meditators - by terrifying images and feelings of fear or anguish. This is known to the T.M. movement. The theory states that "unstressing" is taking place during these conditions. It is advised that one should meditate more intensively. Only when all of that stress was released, would pleasant experiences again be had.

"Over 70% of those in our study had difficulties, statements made on tape list these difficulties mainly as being: problems with sleeping, anguish, increasing pain in the head, stomach, and back, (compare with section 6 of this chapter), problems with con centration, hallucinations, feelings of isolation, depression, over-sensitivity, and instability.

It is significant that the percentage is high in each group. This shows that even the so-called easy meditation (2x20) can lead to serious problems. This is confirmed by comparing the ordinary meditators with sidhas, T.M. teachers, and governors. 70% of o rdinary meditators had experienced difficulties as a result of the meditation, 82% of insiders....

4.1.8. HOW DID THE MEDITATORS TRY TO DEAL WITH THESE DIFFICULTIES?
"....The "checking" procedure was used in most cases. According to the ex-meditators group this was mostly without success. The fact that many traveled to Maharishi in Switzerland when they experienced the trouble shows the dependence and fixation of medi tators on the master....

4.1.9 SUMMARY

4.2 EFFECTS OF T.M. ON PERCEPTION OF REALITY

4.2.1.1 INDICATORS OF A CHANGED PERCEPTION OF REALITY

4.2.1.1 THE MAHARISHI EFFECT

4.2.1.2 THE SIDHI-PROGRAM

4.2.1.3 STYLE OF DRESS

4.2.1.4 ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY
"....It is legitimate to suppose that it is a policy of the T.M. movement to change the attitudes of meditators, in as far as money will be unimportant (generally) to them in the first place, but that meditators will be ready to spend their money on expen sive T.M. courses, or make it available to the organization for its expansion program.

4.2.1.4VEGETARIANISM

4.2.1.6 HEALTH INSURANCE AND DOCTOR CARE
"....Out of the 29 meditators who gave up their job or studies to work full-time for the T.M. movement, only two were insured by the T.M. movement, and those two only because of outside pressure to do so. 38% (11) weren't insured at all, the parents or ma rried partners insured another 38% (11).

4.2.2. INFLUENCE OF T.M. AND MAHESH YOGI ON MEDITATORS
"....87% (57) of those in this investigation reported that they (or their children/married partners) were strongly to very strongly influenced by T.M. No one had not been influenced....In answer to the question "What position did M. Mahesh Yogi occupy in your world view?", many said that they saw him as a "leader," a "divine person," and he occupied the position of primary importance in their lives. Whatever he said, was binding. These meditators made themselves dependent on his authority and lost the capacity for independe nt thought and action.

4.2.3 ON THE QUESTION OF THE EXERCISE OF FREE WILL
"....73% of meditators were influenced strongly to very strongly in their exercising of free will or determination.

4.2.4 CHANGED VIEW OF REALITY
"....The ideology of Transcendental Meditation was unreservedly accepted, the view and perception of the world changed in the direction of what has already been recounted in this chapter; elitist attitudes and karma-dharma thinking developed, meditators became anti-social, ap olitical and disinterested in their surroundings..... Approximately 90% absorbed and accepted T.M. theory and ideology, 80% followed precisely the instructions of meditators of higher rank, and about 75% lived in the pretend world of T.M.

4.2.5. CHANGE IN THE FRAMEWORK OF PERCEPTION
"....Using this recording from the interview, the dangers involved in this type of meditation can be illustrated, dangers particularly relevant to those beginning the practice who are under 25 years of age..The young man was at the time of the interview - still unable to work. He is under therapeutic care and lives at home with his parents.... The young person involved with T.M. is effectively hindered from becoming a responsible independent adult, he regresses to an infantile and narcissistic stage, expr essed through appropriate behavior on his part. The almost complete loss of a sense of reality is caused, in our considered opinion, by the practice of meditation, the teaching and T.M. movement in the context of it being so organized in the particular wa y it is. This loss of a sense of reality makes a person unfit for work, unable to shape his life in a responsible manner and unable to be socially active.

4.2.6 SUMMARY

4.3 EFFECTS OF T.M. ON PERSONALITY STRUCTURES

4.3.1 THE STRESS FACTOR
"....Bad karma and accompanying stress is to be avoided above all else.... The new world-view has the effect of giving stress an ever-increasing role, as meditators over-react to this factor, and avoid everything which could cause stress, like for example conflicts, manual work, social relationships etc....Although meditators have as a matter of fact less stress in their lives due to their changed life-style, they are conscious of a large to massive amount of stress. This discrepancy between "objective", i.e. actual levels of stress, and the subjectively perceived stress factor causes in many meditators far reaching negative consequences for their personality as a whole.

4.3.2. CONSTITUTION, ATTITUDE, AND BEHAVIOR

4.3.2.1. ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS
"....47% (28) became underlings to authority regarding decisions made, 12% (7) became unable to make decisions. Just 33% (20) had the same decision making capacity while one meditator according to his own statement, had improved on this capacity....

4.3.2.2. PHYSIOGNOMY
"....In 82% (4) of the cases, the facial expression (i.e. normal) changed. Members and ex-meditators report of a mask-like facial expression, strange smiling and twitches....

4.3.2.3. CHANGE IN PERSONALITY
"....Descriptions from the qualitative testimonies: felt as if grown older, depressions, glassy look, easily influenced, more lax, no relationships with anyone, more closed in, more dishonest, lonely, fanatical, egocentric, defensive, more unstable, and s ensitive.... 75% (49) judged the changes which occurred as begin altogether negative.....

4.3.3. SUMMARY

4.4. EFFECTS OF T.M. ON THE SOCIAL FIELD

4.4. 1 STATE OF PRIVATE LIFE AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS BEFORE T.M.

4.4.1.1 HOBBIES, INTERESTS AND INCLINATIONS<

4.4.1.2. ACTIVITIES DURING FREE-TIME

4.4.1.3 CHARACTERISTICS REGARDING COMMUNICATION
"....Overall the meditators are people who, before T.M., had varied interests, were alert mentally, and open. They also had good to very good relationships with family and friends.

4.4.2. EFFECTS OF T.M. ON THE SOCIAL FIELD

4.4.2.1 CHANGES IN THE DAILY RHYTHM
"....In 90% of cases (61), eating, sleeping and/or work habits changed.

4.4.2.2 CHANGES IN INTERESTS
"....91% (57) showed a very strong interest in Transcendental Meditation, in other words, they were developing a different structure of motivation and impulse during T.M. and shifted all focus of interest onto T.M.....77% (50) reported that T.M. played a large to very large p art in discussions....From the qualitative statements made, it becomes clear that outside observers find these discussions cliched, mechanical and indoctrination-like ("he went on like a recording, always repeating himself")....

4.4.2.3. CHANGES IN AREA OF RELATIONSHIPS
"....Before initiation into Transcendental Meditation, 81% (46) were more or less active in the family life.....This became much less during T.M. A comparison between ordinary meditators and insiders shows that 66% of insiders and 42% of ordinary meditators withdrew from fami ly life. The reason for the downturn of social relationships in this area cannot be looked for simply in the T.M. organization milieu, since it resides chiefly in the type of meditation involved and the practice of that meditation."

4.4.2.4. CONFLICTS
"....Just over a quarter (26%, 16) became more aggressive during the T.M. phase, but in Group 3 [spouses], the actual percentage is a staggering 70%.... Regarding all other variable, T.M. had a negative effect. The majority showed a disturbance or disrupt ion of inner balance.

4.4.2.5. CHANGES IN RELATIONSHIPS<
".... 55% (37) had close friendships before Transcendental Meditation and 30% (20) had at least a few acquaintances....During the T.M. phase, only 20% (13) had close friendships and 20% (13) some acquaintances, and 50% (33) lived an isolated life....89% (55) made contacts onl y with other meditators,

4.4.3. PERSONALITY PROFILE

4.4.3.1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS

4.4.3.2. OVERALL EVALUATION
"....Susceptibility changed from +1.100 (Phase l)to 1.303 (Phase 2), i.e. an increase of 0.202 points. Apathy rose from -1.282 (Phase 1 )to -0.740 (Phase 2), indicating a change of +0.542. Likewise egotism increased, it rose from +0.457 to +1.05l, i.e. by 0.594 points.....

4.4.3.3. INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION
"....The meditation reduced openness in its being a communicative quality.... Through this lack of openness, honesty shows a startling drop (-3.100).... Other items are notable for the extreme changes which they undergo: ability to make contacts changes b y -2.600 point, politeness by -1.722 points, warmth and sympathy by -2.200 points.

4.4.3.4. COMPARISONS OF EVALUATIONS
"....This major reduction in positive characteristics stands in total opposition to the promises made by the T.M. movement.

4.5 EFFECTS OF T.M. ON SCHOOL AND JOB PERFORMANCE

4.5.1. SCHOOL AND JOB PERFORMANCE BEFORE T.M.

4.5.2 CHANGES IN THE AREA OF PERFORMANCE

4.5.2.1 ABILITY TO CONCENTRATE
"..The ability to concentrate worsened in 56% of cases (34)....This decrease in the ability to concentrate was expressed in many cases in increased forgetfulness, absent-mindedness and an inability to engage in activity which was of a continuous nature, i .e. which demanded concentration over a period of time.

4.5.2.2. WORKLOAD
"....In all three groups there was a general decrease in performance abilities.... The statements made by those in our study point to a lack of drive and an inability to carry a task to its completion.

4.5.3. SCHOOL AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER
"..On average 58% (38) of those in our study had their careers damaged through the influence of T.M., which they judged to be negative.... It is more often the case that interest in the job/career wanes, for example, because it is now considered meaningl ess....42% (28) of all questioned gave up either their job or studies because of their involvement with T.M., in order to work full or part-time for the organization or to take part in long courses....It is ascertainable from our interviews that meditator s are sent away again by the T.M. movement as soon as they (the meditators) become either incapable of working or paying their way

4.5.4. SUMMARY

4.6 EFFECTS OF TM. IN THE AREAS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

4.6.1 PRELIMINARY REMARKS
"...Serious and endangering disturbances were caused to ordinary meditators and insiders, with few exceptions.

4.6.2 STATE OF HEALTH OF THE GROUPS QUESTIONED (BEFORE T.M. PHASE)

4.6.3. PHYSICAL COMPLAINTS AND SICKNESSES DURING THE T.M. PHASE
"..In 63% of cases (42) physical complaints occurred. In most cases these were stomach and bowel complaints, headaches, sleeping difficulties, neck pain..... These symptoms are even known to the T.M. movement - symptoms caused by transcendental meditation ....in the secret checking instructions

4.6.4. PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTURBANCES AND ILLNESSES DURING THE T.M. PHASE
"...76% (51) of cases investigated had psychological or psychiatric disorders which occurred during the T.M. phase and as a result of the practice of T.M.... In first place, (63%), is "tiredness"....In second place follows "states of anxiety" 52% (27). To gether with "frightening images" it points to quite horrific meditation experiences which may not be related to outsiders (non-meditators) and are hardly discussed among meditators because of the prevailing pressures "to be successful". The lack or absenc e of discussion which could relieve or resolve these matters intensifies the state of anxiety and frightening images into being a physical syndrome, which manifested in 31% of case (16) as fixations and 39% of cases (20) as obsessive ideas of various type s and in 26% (13) cases as a nervous breakdown. 20% (1O) told of steadily increasing suicide tendencies....In 39% of cases (20) a regression in terms of their perceptions of themselves and others was observed. Even meditators notice this process, as, for instance, when they describe the face or facial expression of many insiders as being "baby-faced".... Meditators withdraw more and more into a pretend world....29% (15) of meditators were oppressed by guilt-feelings.... 39% (20) showed increased nervousne ss, which manifested symptomatically as twitches of the head or limbs.... Outside stimuli become too strong to cope with. If the meditator cannot avoid them, then a nervousness manifests itself. Meditators are much more sensitive to noise

4.6.5 "TRIGGERING-OFF" SITUATIONS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS
"....An analysis of our case material showed likewise that latent and manifested pathogenic structural characteristics are activated by T.M. and that a general worsening of the mental constitution arises....A heightened sensibility and delicacy or weaknes s in the personality of the meditator creates the necessary prerequisites for a manifested psychological disorder.... The tape recording of a young man in the adolescent phase shows the process of de-personalization and the ecstatic merging with the "laws of nature":...This tape recording section portrays the process of de-personalization through T.M....In the case dealt with above the mental illness occurred as a result of an extended stay in a foreign country.... In the case of another young man, the psychological disorder came to the surface after an operation he underwent, which was stressful for him....Situations in volving stress, which are normally dealt with by people without any great difficulty, are now the catalyst for psychological illness.

4.6.6 SUMMARY

5 ANALYSIS OF PARTICULAR TESTIMONIES (MAIN THEMES)

5.1 PRELIMINARY REMARKS

5.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF EX-MEDITATORS SHOWING POSITIVE OR NEUTRAL EFFECTS

5.2.1. ABILITY TO MAKE CRITICAL EVALUATIONS

5.2.2 SOCIAL AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.2.3. INDIVIDUAL CASES IN THIS GROUP

5.2.4 SUMMARY

5.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHANGES IN THE VIEW OF REALITY OF MEDITATORS.

5.3.1. PRELIMINARY REMARK ON THE CONCEPT "VIEW OF REALITY"

5.3.2 KARMA AND STRESS
"...We can deduce here that the western concept of "stress" (the curing of which constitutes a large part of the promises made in T.M. advertising), has its cause in "karma" this "relationship" between the two is only known to insiders.

5.3.3 THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PERSONAL KARMA ON ONE'S SURROUNDINGS
"...Besides this mainly psychological change is the perception, many meditators also underwent (some unconsciously) a change in their world view.... They could give up all activities, only the participation in the bettering of the world's karma was their task.

5.3.4 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MAHARISHI EFFECT
"...The hope, that 1% of the world population can rescue the rest of the world from their misery and suffering, through Transcendental Meditation, a belief held with unquestioning trust for the authority of Maharishi....The Maharishi effect provides an ideal justification for a withdrawal from society, since many see such a move as being best for their own unstressing, and the unstressing of the world....Therefore, for many meditators there was just the one aim: to dismantle or reduce the importance of outer reality, in order to be able to turn one's attention completely to an inner reality.

5.3.5 SUMMARY
"....Fear or anxiety about stress governs physical activity as well. Physical activity is reduced in favor of meditative calm. All exercises, like for example "asanas", serve only as a physical relaxation for further meditation....The psychological make-up of meditators seems to be subjected to a most intensive influence exerted by the view of reality as molded by T.M. teaching.

5.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOR OF MEDITATORS

5.4.1 SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AMONG MEDITATORS
"....Allocation of position depends on the height of consciousness. This is arrived at by increasingly advanced techniques, (T.M. teachers, sidhas) and through longer meditations, and is extremely expensive for all those aspiring to such positions....Apart from the pressures on meditators to become more deeply involved, they succumbed to the strong pressures on them both from without and within themselves to conform. This conformity was the guarantee for promotion, a rising up the ladder.

5.4.2. SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP OF MEDITATORS TOWARDS NONMEDITATORS
"....The world of non-meditators is a world of negative karma and radiates this bad karma out on meditators who come in contact with it.

5.4.3 SUMMARY

5.5.1 MAHARISHI'S CLAIMS
"...During the interviews we heard that Maharishi insists that meditators should not give up their jobs. On the other hand there are instances of him having urged people to stop their studies or give up their job.... We have now to establish what the reasons were which caused a great number of the people we interviewed to stop their studies or give up their job.

5.5.2 REASONS FOR GIVING UP WORK/STUDY
"....A particular conflict of interests develops from this, because insiders see the professional career as being a 'position on the borderline', and the meditator has to permanently fulfill two different sets of expectations.....The meditation causes a temporary or complete lack of drive, which the meditators found to be upsetting. The capacity to concentrate as well as physical activity are redirected through the meditation and are, it is to be suspected, aimed at other goals. Here it is shown that for many meditators the meditation is not a strength-gathering contemplation, but an uncontrollable mental process which can lead to a lowering of drive and incentive on his part....

5.5.3 T.M. TEACHING AS A 'CAREER'
"....Those who can't bear the tension caused by the practice of T.M. will give up his job, among other things.... The final consequence of this development is the advancement to being an insider and an officer of Transcendental Meditation.

5.5.4 SUMMARY

5.6 CHARACTERISTICS OF MEDITATORS WHO BECAME MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY ILL

5.6.1 PRELIMINARY REMARK
"....Under the general title of "total failure" symptomology we can draw up the medical picture and study the cases where ex-meditators completely lost control over themselves and suffered a mental or physical breakdown.

5.6.2 THE PECULIAR NATURE OF EXPERIENCES DURING MEDITATION
"....For a limited period of time most ex-meditators found themselves spiritually uplifted in the meditation. But it is precisely those who experienced these pleasant feelings who became perplexed as negative experiences of an unlimited nature appeared and threatened to increase further. Initiators are ready (for example on courses) to deal with a "going crazy" of participants .... The sole answer given to people in such difficulties and the sole help offered is the diagnosis "unstressing"....As soon as meditators threaten to "go crazy" in a T.M. center, however they are sent away and kept at a distance. The danger of stress being unloaded onto the other meditators was too great....But where this diffusion manifests itself in meditators, there shows itself the face of a possible insanity.

5.6.3 INDIVIDUAL EXAMPLES IN THIS GROUP

5.6.4 SUMMARY

6. DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED AFTER STOPPING T.M.

6.1. MOTIVES FOR LEAVING THE PRACTICE OF T.M.
"...It is notable that for the main part only those people gave up T.M. who ... didn't go on many courses and didn't meditate longer than one hour daily. Insiders found it very difficult to break the T. M. habit. Only a few managed to do it, and some beca me even more involved with Transcendental Meditation after they had attempted to get out of it.

6.2. DIFFICULTIES AFTER GIVING UP OF T.M.
"...Other difficulties listed by people after the termination of links with T.M. were - no apartment (i.e. no place in which to live), bad job prospects and tight financial situation. Meditators who were completely involved in the organization had to buil d a new existence for themselves, since they had in most cases sacrificed years of time, money, and energy on the T.M. movement.

7. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE T.M. ORGANIZATION'S PROCEDURAL METHODS

7.1 DECEPTION IN ADVERTISING AND PORTRAYAL OF ITSELF BY T.M.
"....T.M. portrays itself as being an easy, scientifically proved relaxation technique, non-religious and non-ideological."

7.1.1 THE RELIGIOUS SIDE OF T.M.
"....91% (60) described Transcendental Meditation as being religious. Reasons given are the initiation ceremony: the status accorded to Maharishi, the meditation itself, and T.M. teaching.... 13% (8) left their church, because they felt that their religious aspirations were better met by T.M. Since only 18% (12) had belonged to a church before T.M. the significance of the number of those who left is greatly increased....Of course the represent atives of Transcendental Meditation try to save the veneer of non-religiosity by arguing that T.M. and the "science of creative intelligence" come from the Vedas, which have existed since time immemorial and which are also of a status which is 'above religions': but this opin ion is contradicted by the usual religious-scientist's view which attributes the Vedas unequivocally to Hinduism and its multiple varieties. The argument reflects in fact the world view of T.M., since only a person who lives and thinks in the context of H induism will declare that the Vedas have always been there and are still effective everywhere.

7.1.2 DECEPTION IN THE INITIATION INTO T.M.
"....The true meaning of the puja is kept from him and it is claimed that mantras are specially chosen for the new initiates. In fact they are given out according to the age group of the person being initiated.

7.1.3 DECEPTION OF 'INSIDERS' AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC
"....Over 20,000 meditators (3,500 of them from West Germany) have completed the Sidhi course....The large scale advertising carried on by the T.M. movement among the general public as well as meditators for the sidhi course is based on a deliberate decep tion which has earned the T.M. movement approximately 14 million marks [$18.6 million] in West Germany alone.

7.1.4 METHODS OF ADVERTISING (PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN)
"...94% of those questioned considered the advertising carried on by T.M. to be a deception and/or unreliable.

7.2. OBJECTIVES OF T.M.
"....83% (64) see the main objectives of T.M. as being power and money; 19% (10) as being to offer the public a (new) religion, 13% as being world betterment, and only one person saw the main objective of the T.M. movement as being the introduction of a r elaxation technique (into the world).

7.3. SOCIAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF T.M.
"...On the pretext of continued perfect health, immortality, unfolding of the personality, etc. the organization avoids paying health and social insurance contributions for full-time workers.... Finally it is hardly a shock to learn that meditators who were working full-time in one of the main T.M. centers in West Germany and Switzerland, and who became mentally ill because of T.M., were expelled as undesirables by those in high authority..... n doing this the T.M. movement succeeded in maintaining their claim, at least as regards appearances, that no one in their organization was mentally ill.

7.4 THE PRACTICE OF GIVING ADVICE ON MEDITATION/MEDITATION GUIDANCE

7.4.1 THE TRAINING OF T.M. TEACHERS
"....T.M. teacher training courses often take place in remote secluded areas. The course participants are shut off from the outside world for months on end. There is no radio, no television and no newspapers.... Psychological appraisal or therapeutic help is not available in the case of difficulties arising.

7.4.2 MEDITATION GUIDANCE
"...Most T.M. teachers on the basis of their training, do not have the necessary knowledge and experience to grasp the existing personal situation of the meditator or to recognize mental disorders in their beginning stages.... Elsewhere, particularly in Asia in relation to meditation, the personal individual dialogue between the master and his student is a continuous process. The master has undertaken responsibility for the student. On the basis of his own experiences he can co rrect wrong development and promote the inner evolution of his student. This dialogue which exists purely on the basis of a trusting personal relationship is replaced in the T.M. order of things by a neutral standardized monitoring process. Problems are t o be solved in a systematic manner by a 30-point system and increased meditation. The personal situation or problems of the meditator will not be investigated

7.5 SIDHA-LANDS
"...In recent years there has been efforts made by the T.M. movement to set up economically self-sufficient sidha-lands.... One of T.M.'s formula/mottos[sic], to 'meditate and be active', is fulfilled in the Sidha-lands. The double-talk employed by T.M. w ould rule out an ordinary interpretation of this last sentence, i.e. that meditation is only fulfilled or effective when the meditator engages in energetic activity. Although T.M. gives this impression by its use of everyday language in its advertising, w hat T.M. really means by 'meditate and be active' is ... meditation and activity are directed solely towards T.M. and its organization.

7.6 INITIATION OF CHILDREN
"....Some children who began the practice of Transcendental Meditation at an early age, were diagnosed as having developed autistic behavior

7.7. EPILOGUE
"....70% (47) of those involved in our investigation knew of other families and meditators who experienced the same effects of T.M. as already outlined in this study..... The hidden numbers of such people is extremely high, since there are many parents, m arried partners and ex-meditators who for various reasons are not prepared to tell of their experiences of the T.M. movement to the greater public.

7.8 RESUME
"....The initiation into the practice of Transcendental Meditation is geared towards increasing the emotional openness of the meditator. On the basis of this increased opening up, an unreserved acceptance of the teachings as spread by Maharishi follows.

The acceptance of these teachings causes a loss in the sense of reality, altered social attitudes, which themselves lead to a breaking off of or reduction in contacts to the world of non-meditators.

The 'one-to-one' type of relationship is replaced by a narcissistic ego-centric "me" type of relationship.

Negative experiences with the meditation are seen as "unstressing" and are blamed on earlier development (pre-T.M.) or on the negative karma of the meditator's surroundings.

The overcoming of these 'knots of stress" leads to more intensive meditation and increased isolation.

Increased isolation is equivalent to promotion within the T.M. organization.

The public-oriented claims of the T.M. movement do not correspond with their aims: The T.M. movement claims that T.M. is only a relaxation technique. it is in fact a religious method and world-view.

Social, mental, and physical disturbances are the result of increased delicacy and helplessness, which are caused by the meditation. The secondary effects which result, described as "release of stress", can lead to severe mental illness/damage. The recomm endation given by the T.M. organization in such instances, i.e. to increase the mediation to longer periods; is dangerous.

There is no satisfactory follow-up procedure of care for meditators. Experiences had of meditation are dealt with by the so called "checking" procedure, which is completely inadequate: This means that the meditator is afforded a guidance which is irrespon sible.

The isolation spoken of corresponds with the formation of Sidha-lands, where only meditators can live and work.

The proclaimed responsibility for the world does not correspond with a withdrawal from it.

The result of this development is that very many meditators are led into the illusion of a better world, at the cost of real everyday life, and past real people. "Enlightened consciousness" does not bear well 'ordinary' contact with non-meditators, who th erefore are experienced as being a hinderance[sic].

Every individual needs the people of his environment as a "corrective", since "our neighbor" does not really stand in our way, rather, he is the guardian angel who stands at the brink of the abyss, and saves us from gliding off into the realm of illusion .

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